NBA Trade Rumors – Trade Deadline Edition

Sources: Knicks confident in deal

Rockets agree to acquire Kevin Martin from Kings

Bulls try to sell Sacramento on Hinrich

Stoudemire Will Stay in Phoenix

Trade buzz: No deal for Allen?

Could the Mavericks still make a run at LeBron?

Sources: Knicks confident in deal

The New York Knicks and Houston Rockets continued to work on a Tracy McGrady trade in advance of Thursday’s 3 p.m. trading deadline, with three sources close to the process insisting late Wednesday that the trade can still be consummated in time even though the sides have clashed on some of the final parameters.

"I’m pretty confident," one source said Wednesday night.

But that was before sources said that the Rockets had reached agreement with the Kings to acquire Kevin Martin. The deal struck Wednesday night will send Martin, Kenny Thomas, Hilton Armstrong and Sergio Rodriguez to the Rockets for McGrady, Carl Landry, Joey Dorsey and an undisclosed amount of cash.

The Rockets and Kings were, however, trying to involve the Knicks in a three-team trade that would land McGrady in New York.

Sources say the Knicks are also increasingly interested in swinging a separate deal with the Chicago Bulls before the deadline that would send out Al Harrington in exchange for Tyrus Thomas and the expiring contract of former Knicks center Jerome James.

After Houston had narrowed the McGrady field Tuesday to the Knicks and Bulls as the only destinations for the disgruntled two-time scoring champion, Chicago began moving in different directions with its trade assets as Wednesday wore on. Sources say that the Rockets’ trade energies were thus focused on trying to reach a consensus with the Knicks on the draft considerations needed to clinch an agreement without the involvement of a third team.

"I’m hopeful," Knicks president Donnie Walsh said. "It’s a matter of trying to a fair deal for your franchise and a fair deal for the other franchise."

Rockets agree to acquire Kevin Martin from Kings

Ken Berger

The Rockets and Kings have agreed in principle to a deal that would send Kevin Martin to Houston, two sources confirmed to, while Tracy McGrady would go to the Kings or Knicks depending on whether the trade expands into a three-team deal.

Details of the agreement were still emerging early Thursday, but one of the sources indicated that the Rockets’ aggressive pursuit of a landing spot for McGrady and his $23 million contract may not have taken its last turn before the 3 p.m. ET Thursday deadline. A second person involved in the process was hopeful that McGrady would be rerouted to New York, the former All-Star’s preferred destination.

Those familiar with the Kings’ thinking have long professed their lack of interest in McGrady, but it wasn’t clear early Thursday whether T-Mac would be rerouted to New York by the Kings or sent there in a more standard three-way arrangement. Earlier Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the Kings’ posture placed the likelihood of Martin remaining in Sacramento past Thursday’s deadline at "100 percent." When pressed, the source opened the door slightly. "OK, 95 percent," the person said.

So there you go.

The players involved in the initial version of the deal were Martin, Kenny Thomas, Sergio Rodriguez, and Hilton Armstrong leaving the Kings, with the Rockets contributing McGrady, Carl Landry, and Joey Dorsey.

The tangled web was woven out of discussions among the Rockets, Knicks, and Bulls surrounding McGrady, whose cap-clearing contract was coveted by both Chicago and New York as they get their books in order for the 2010 free agency class. The discussions took numerous turns, including the Bulls failed efforts to recruit a third team to meet the Rockets’ demands. Houston, in the end, may have found its own trading partner; the addition of Martin to the scenario significantly enhances what was already a premium price the Rockets were extracting for McGrady, a player they banished in December after an ill-fated return from microfracture knee surgery.

The Knicks and Rockets had spent the past 48 hours discussing a deal that would’ve sent McGrady to New York as part of a package for Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill — the No. 8 pick in the 2009 draft –Larry Hughes and draft pick consideration. The protection on the picks was the sticking point, as the Knicks and Rockets were unable to agree on the conditions under which they would swap 2011 first-round picks and send New York’s 2012 first-round pick to Houston.

Bulls try to sell Sacramento on Hinrich

Mike McGraw

Not long after I turned in a story for the print edition discussing the possibility of a three-way trade between the Bulls, Rockets and Kings, the deal apparently went through without the Bulls involved.

Multiple sources reported Houston agreed to send Tracy McGrady and his massive expiring contract to Sacramento for shooting guard Kevin Martin. It’s as good as done, considering Martin sat out the second half of the Kings’ loss at Golden State on Wednesday night and spoke to the Sacramento Bee about the deal.

There are other pieces involved. Most notably, forward Carl Landry goes to the Kings and guard Sergio Rodriguez moves to Houston.

The question now is whether Sacramento will hang on to McGrady or trade him again before the deadline hits at 2 p.m. Central time.

The Bulls are still intent on trading Kirk Hinrich and opening even more cap room for the summer. That’s their top priority in the final hours before the deadline.

Since the Kings saved money by trading Martin, maybe they’d be interested in Hinrich, who could be a nice veteran mentor to rookie guard Tyreke Evans. A couple of combinations would work – Hinrich, Brad Miller and Jannero Pargo, or Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas, Jerome James and Pargo.

One report suggested McGrady to the Knicks is still a possibility. Apparently, the Knicks and Houston couldn’t agree on the proper compensation for taking Jared Jeffries off New York’s hands. The Rockets were looking for rookie Jordan Hill and two future first-round picks. What the Kings would want from the Knicks is anyone’s guess.

It should be good news for the Bulls that a straight Houston-New York deal is dead, because it doesn’t seem as likely now that the Knicks can open up enough cap room to chase two top-level free agents.

Stoudemire Will Stay in Phoenix

Chris Tomasson

Phoenix star forward Amar’e Stoudemire confirmed to FanHouse on Wednesday night he won’t be traded by Thursday’s deadline.

"I think I’m pretty much safe,” Stoudemire said after a talk with owner Robert Sarver following the Suns’ 107-97 loss at Dallas. "I feel good. But either way I was going to feel all right.”

It became apparent Stoudemire wouldn’t be dealt after Cleveland, which had been pursuing the big man before getting tired of waiting, agreed to a trade earlier Wednesday in which it will get forward Antawn Jamison in a three-team deal.

After that, two league sources said Stoudemire would be staying, and Suns coach Alvin Gentry did nothing to dispute that before Wednesday’s game. It probably also hasn’t hampered matters that Stoudemire reiterated to FanHouse he’s still leaning toward not opting out of his contract this summer.

"I don’t think that was ever an issue that we were looking to trade (Stoudemire),” Gentry said. "People always make phone calls. They think somebody’s available, and the guy’s a great player… Quite naturally, anybody would field phone calls.. I don’t think anybody went in saying, ‘We’re going to trade Amar’e.”’

Stoudemire had said before Wednesday’s game it &quo
t;could be my last in a Suns uniform.” But Stoudemire, after totaling 30 points and 14 rebounds with Sarver sitting in the third row behind Phoenix’s bench, had changed his tune after he met with Sarver following the game. Sarver declined comment.

Earlier Wednesday, Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, had told the Associated Press he expected Dallas to be the forward’s final game with the Suns. But Stoudemire had said before the game "that’s his feeling more so than mine” and said he believed his chances of being moved were "50-50.”

In an interview with FanHouse earlier Wednesday, Suns general manager Steve Kerr wouldn’t comment directly on what Walters said and wouldn’t access the chances of Stoudemire being dealt. But Kerr did speak of the difficulty for the Suns in that Stoudemire has the ability to opt out of his contract by June 30 and become a free agent.

Trade buzz: No deal for Allen?

Marc J. Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski

Ray Allen has heard his name included in potential trades for Rip Hamilton, Monta Ellis, Kevin Martin, Andre Iguodala and Jason Richardson. He knows he has no control over whether the Boston Celtics send him to another team. He also knows he doesn’t want to go.

As Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline approaches, Allen has one hope: He’d like to be starting for the Celtics when they face the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

According to multiple team sources, Allen will likely get his wish. While the Celtics have spent the past few weeks exploring their trade options with Allen, they don’t expect to move the veteran shooting guard. The team is close to acquiring Nate Robinson from the New York Knicks, probably in exchange for Eddie House and J.R. Giddens. But Celtics president Danny Ainge called the potential for an Allen trade “highly unlikely.”

Allen, 34, is making $19 million this season in the final year of his contract. He’ll become a free agent at the end of the season.

“I understand what my expiring contract means and the business we are in,” Allen told Yahoo! Sports. “But Boston is the optimum place for me. I’d want to keep my family here. I’d be disappointed [if he is traded], but there is nothing I can do about it.

“Every time I’ve gotten traded, it’s part of the culture. But I haven’t played for a franchise like this one as far as the tradition, city and the fans.”

While assessing their options with Allen, the Celtics knew what they wanted in return with any potential deal: a talented, younger star. Allen, who has made a career-low 33.3 percent of his 3-point attempts this season, was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Seattle SuperSonics at the 2003 trade deadline.

“What can I do?” Allen said. “I’m not looking at the clock.”

Despite the Celtics’ recent struggles, Allen thinks the team only needs to get healthy to renew its push for another championship.

Could the Mavericks still make a run at LeBron?

The DMN’s Eddie Sefko writes …

They definitely will be sniffing around this summer, though how things go in the next three or four months in Cleveland, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Denver, Miami and Toronto will go a long way toward determining who ends up where.

If Cleveland wins the NBA title, LeBron James isn’t going anywhere. If the Cavaliers get busted in the second round, he might have a tour to allow suitors a chance to wine and dine and woo him.

By the way, if the Mavericks can get LeBron for Butler and Dampier, they would do it in one second. In fact, they would probably let the Cavaliers pick anybody on the team not named Dirk, with the possible exception of Jason Kidd, and do the deal.

But, yes, there are ways they could keep Butler and still make a pitch for LeBron.

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